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Celebrating the Best of Nantucket
Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Issue Number 996


~ The 118th Running of the Boston Marathon

By Marie-Claire Rochat


~ The Production of "Peter and John" on Nantucket, As Recorded on Social Media by Jason Graziadei


~ Umami of Nantucket | Kathleen Hay

By Sara Boyce


~ Nantucket Book Festival: PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools by Mary Haft


~ Videos of the Week


~ Arts & Social Listings for Thursday





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The 118th Running of the Boston Marathon
By Marie-Claire Rochat

I wonder what it will feel like to cross the finish line on Boylston Street on Monday.

Of course I wish I were running. I wish I had joined a charity team - but, alas, I did not. Like thousands, I will be only watching, as athletes from around the world "Run Boston", stoically passing mile marker after mile marker along the hilly course from Hopkinton to Back Bay, their sights set on the finish line 26 miles, 385 yards from where they started. Whatever time they cross that line, it is what they will walk away with that will likely be the best part: the knowing that they ran on the most important day in the Boston Marathon's 118 year history.

It should come as no surprise that a handful of Nantucketers will be in the pack of 36,000. I spoke to a couple of them. I expected to hear that they were nervous - about finishing, about finishing sans injury, about security - but what I was really after was just how they were wrapping their heads around running in this race and the why, with the horrific memories of last year's bombing just starting to ebb for so many. Running any marathon is tough stuff. This one...wow.

This will be Jane Stoddard's first marathon. Tim Lepore has run Boston 46 times. Jami Lower can list Boston, New York, the Hamptons and Chicago, and Adrienne Lombardi (running with her sister Kari Harvey and mom Robin Harvey) ran the Charlottesville (VA) Marathon. They are running for the four people who were killed, the more than 260 people who were injured and for a city traumatized - and also for their own causes, many of which are very personal and close to their hearts.

Nantucket at the Boston Marathon
Kari Harvey, Robin Harvey and Adrienne Harvey Lombardi
(Courtesy of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital)

Stoddard is running for the Alzheimer's Association, for her dad. "A Boston native, he would have loved to have been able to run it and I hope I make him proud," she told me. "The emotions from my personal motivation as well as the city of Boston will be incredible and overwhelming."

Kari Harvey, her sister Adrienne Lombardi and their mom, Robin Harvey, are teaming up for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital - a place they came to know when a life-threatening accident nearly claimed Robin's life three years ago and she spent several months at the facility. "Spaulding holds a special place in our hearts," said Kari, "and we are proud and honored to be a part of this year's team."

Jami Lower is running for the Greg Hill Foundation: a Boston-based organization that aids and supports families who have been affected by tragedies. "At first I really just wanted to get a spot in this year's marathon as I knew it would be a memorable and intense year to partake in it," she told me. "But when I learned a little more about this charity and all they do, I dove in. The Greg Hill team is a dedicated, passionate group of people who believe and work hard for their cause. To say they are fired up and proud for this year's race would be an understatement."

And Tim Lepore - he is running as a member of the elite Boston Marathon Quarter-Century Club (you're a member if you've run 25 consecutive years). No doubt Nantucket's most famous Marathoner, there is only one other person in the world who has run more consecutive Boston Marathons than Tim Lepore, and at only one more (47), the good doctor is right on his tail.

Lepore's goal: to finish the race - something he wasn't able to do last year. He and his daughter, Mary (who had joined him to run the last leg of the race), made it as far as Newton, mile 19, when they were stopped and told that the race had been discontinued.

"I carry my cell phone with me and my son called and told me that bombs had gone off at the finish," he said. "Then the police stopped us at the Newton War Memorial, but no one knew what was going on, there was no information - it was very strange. At about 7:00pm, we were loaded onto buses and taken to BC Law, then to the Armory on Arlington Street where they dropped us off."

Nantucket at the Boston Marathon
Mary Lepore and Dr. Tim Lepore at the 112th Boston Marathon
(Courtesy of the Lepore Family)

At that point, Lepore's family knew he was safe. He and Mary made their way to the Colonnade Hotel off Huntington Street in Back Bay - and only then were they able to grasp the full extent of what had happened. "My cell phone had died," he told me. "We really had no idea of the scope of the injuries."

A question on everyone's mind - runners and spectators alike - is security. For sure, strict regulations and restrictions have been broadcast and will be in place, but safety is, of course, a paramount concern.

"I am definitely NOT a city girl and do not do well in crowds," said Lower, thinking about the large number of people who are likely to turn out this year - one million are expected. "I am hesitant and scared...but am also confident that every precaution that can be taken is being taken and we have to trust in that and be strong." Stoddard echoed her sentiments: "I think it would take a pretty tough person not to be a little worried about security and crowds, but I am trying not to think about it. Just hoping to finish healthy and safely."

While it may be Boston's marathon, the Nantucket community has rallied behind its athletes. "The community has been beyond amazing - from words of encouragement, an incredible event at Pi Pizzeria by Maria and Evan Marley, raffle item donations from numerous island businesses for that event and a great turnout of people giving freely...I am truly speechless by the community support." And with good reason: to date, Stoddard has raised approximately $11,000 for the Alzheimer's Association.

If there was ever a tough winter to run outside, this was it. Mother Nature showed no mercy to marathoners in training and even this past week, there were snowflakes in the air. The Nantucket runners and countless other New Englanders have been forced onto treadmills - perhaps more than they have liked - but there have been some opportunities for getting out on the roads. "I have gone to Boston the past two Saturdays for team training on the marathon course and they have been huge inspiration to me to be surrounded by so many other runners," said Stoddard. Lower is nursing a few injuries, but has done a lot of cross training and feels ready for the big race. "The weather obviously has made things more difficult," she noted.

Marathon Monday has been Boston's Big Day for over a century. This year will be particularly memorable. Passing the one year anniversary of the date this week and closing in on the first running following the bombing are milestones and Lepore, for one, believes that people are ready to enjoy the day again. "The Boston Marathon has such a tradition - it is really a civic ritual for the city," he said.

I am excited for the Nantucket athletes: proud of them for the causes they are running for, inspired by them taking on the challenge of running a marathon and will be routing for them all. Best of luck!

Marie-Claire Rochat is a Nantucket-based freelance writer who has contributed to N Magazine, New England Home, Cape and Islands Home, and Antiques and Fine Arts magazine, to name a few. She also works as a public relations consultant, copywriter and real estate agent on the island. Rochat loves to write about art and design, fashion and style, food, theatre - and, most of all, people who have an interesting story to tell. She spends any free time keeping up with her busy children, Mia and Stefan, and gets to New York City as often as possible. She welcomes comments, story ideas, etc. and can be reached at rochat@comcast.net. Her column, Just Curious, is a regular feature in Mahon about Town

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The Production of "Peter and John" on Nantucket, As Recorded on Social Media

Following the day to day progress of the production of Peter and John on Nantucket, updated daily by Jason Graziadei for Mahon About Town, with the latest from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sources. Here's the link.

Here are some excerpts. Click any one to go right to the full story.

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Umami* of Nantucket | Kathleen Hay
By Sara Boyce

I first met Kathleen Hay at a class at theSpace in 2002. As we chatted during a break, I told her I was opening an art gallery and she mentioned her new design business and that she "could help me if I needed any graphic design". Scanning this friendly woman up and down, I noted her porcelain skin, tall black boots, stylish black outfit and animal print hat that clearly stood out on Nantucket. I said to myself, "now THIS is the woman I want to work with."

In every instance I have seen, Kathleen's fashion and design sensibility transcends Nantucket and captivates me. Kathleen did all my graphic design for the gallery and we had a lot of fun working together. I let her know the effect I wanted to create for each event, and she ran with it. Time after time, she returned with a vision that surpassed my expectations.

I watched as Kathleen's business morphed from mostly graphic design to mostly interior design. Her client base quickly expanded beyond the island. Most of our conversations took place while she was on the road, driving far and wide with her ever-expanding circle of clients. She's bold, unafraid, and her design sense is infused with elegance. That's why I think she's one of the most talented designers I've met, and I'm quite sure that explains much of her success in the design world.

Kathleen, how would you describe your design style?
My style is transitional: bridging the gap between traditional and modern. I like to mix styles, periods, and textures for a more interesting and eclectic result.

All photographs by Jeff Allen

What was your first big break into the business and do you have any advice for younger designers?
I was incredibly fortunate to work for artist/designer George Davis and his partner Bruce Dilts from the time I was in high school. I had worked for George during my high school and college summers (1980 - 1985) at his restaurant, The Morning Glory Café, and his art gallery, The Granary Gallery, both on South Wharf. I managed his business Weeds with his then partner Virginia Vanocur during my last college summer in 1985. I then moved to NYC to pursue my intended career in finance after earning a BA in Economics from William & Mary. However, I was disillusioned by the financial world and the lack of creativity it afforded. At a serendipitous dinner with George, I was wooed back to the Grey Lady and officially returned in 1987. I worked under his tutelage for over 20 years. These two gifted and talented men honed my design "eye" and taught me everything I know about color, proportion, and all around good taste.

What advice would you give a client who has a limited budget but wants your input?
I always try to focus smaller budgets on a few good quality pieces, along with time spent on the arrangement of the space. I also recommend paint as an inexpensive way to bring a fresh look to a tired room.

What is the most interesting or challenging home you've designed?
The most challenging space I have designed was an old lobster boat converted to a luxury pleasure boat.

Where (or from whom) do you get your creative inspiration?
I gain inspiration from my surroundings, be it a walk in nature or stomping along a city street. I also love to flip through magazines and design books. I find people and my interaction with them incredibly inspiring, as well as movies and fashion magazines.

What are your "go to" sources | lines | manufacturers for quality furnishings and fabrics?
Both the Boston and New York Design Centers offer myriad choices for fine quality furnishings. Webster & Co in Boston offers a large line of top-quality vendors including Holly Hunt, Phillip Jeffries, Formations, and Vaughn. I also love Kravet/Lee Jofa and FDO showrooms for the many well-priced, good quality options they have for my clients. On Nantucket, Coastal, Nantucket Looms, and Anderson's all offer a fine array of enticing products.

What makes the difference between a good designer and a great designer?
Great designers are innovators and leaders. They possess patience for the creative process, attention to detail, and an eye for something new and different.

Is there anything significant in how you would approach a Nantucket project v. projects off island?
Nantucket projects require a different set of parameters. Most of the homes are used heavily for a few months a year and require fabrics and finishes that can withstand houseguests, children, and a relaxed approach to living. Nantucket has a very different quality of light, so the color scheme needs to meld with the beauty of the natural surroundings.

How do you work with a client who has different tastes than yours?
I love the collaborative process with clients. It is an exciting challenge to come across a client that pushes me out of my comfort zone. I love learning new things from my clients and find my work is stronger when I am able to expand my design horizons with work that is new and different.

New England Home
Beautiful Homes
Boston Common Magazine
N Magazine
Elegant Homes
London Financial Times
Cape Cod Home
Andrew Martin Interior Design Review
(5 times)
Top 50 Beautiful Homes: Design et al (2 times)

World's Best 2008 (International Property Awards)
World's Best 2010 (International Property Awards)
I&M Best of the Island - Gold (2013)
I&M Best of the Island - Silver (2011 and 2012)
Shortlist: Andrew Martin Designer of the Year Award (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013)

To see more of Kathleen's work: www.kathleenhaydesigns.com

*"Umami" is something the Japanese recognize as the 5th flavor, in addition to sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. A nuanced word, one could define it as the "je ne sais quoi" that deepens flavor, the experience, and imparts satisfaction and sensory delight. To me, it's "that which makes Nantucket special".

Sara Boyce has been working in the luxury market since she visited Nantucket for a "three-week" visit after 9/11. An art dealer turned "Lady in Chief" at Grey Lady Wines, she has a passion for bringing people together to share the finer things in life. Passionate about healthy living, delicious eating, and searching out the extra flavor of life, chances are she's cooking, writing, or on the dance floor if she's not traveling.

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Nantucket Book Festival:
PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools
By Mary Haft

A contagion swept through the Nantucket school system last week, but it was no virus. It was PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools author, Julie Berry, in town as part of the Nantucket Book Festival's outreach to our island's young people. "Julie Berry's talent as a writer and excitement about stories was contagious," said Cyrus Peirce Middle School and High School Librarian, Maggie Sullivan. "Students were engaged by Julie's presentation and received clear, concise, writing tips for creating their own stories." 

Nantucket Book Festival: PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools   Nantucket Book Festival: PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools
Julie Berry and her book, "The Truth That's In Me"

In her assembly-style presentation, Ms. Berry created a construct for conceiving plot: Imagine body-snatching aliens land on the roof of the Cyrus Pierce Middle School...now they have entered the school cafeteria looking for the teachers. Looking out at the sea of expectant faces she asked, "And do you say, NO, NOT OUR TEACHERS! Or do you point them towards the Teachers Lounge?" "THE TEACHERS LOUNGE!", roared the auditorium full of students. And question by question, bit by bit, before they knew it, the groups of students, in two different programs, from both Middle and Elementary School, which included the entire island's 3rd, 4th and 5th graders, had created a story and discovered that stories can be built not only by what they know, but by what they can imagine, with the questions they ask. 

A critically acclaimed author of books that range from elementary and middle school readers with Second Hand Charm, The Rat Brain Fiasco, and The Amaranth Enchantment, to young adult high school titles, with her ground breaking novel, All the Truth That's In Me, Julie Berry is an author whose books and message can reach across age levels. Shortlisted for a 2014 Carnegie Medal in the UK; nominated for an Edgar Award for young adult literature, an Australian Inky Award, and named a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Top Ten Title, All the Truth That's In Me, is a stunning work of originality and beauty. This book was the perfect fit for our Nantucket High School program; a "serendipitous choice", as English Department Head, Stacey Edzwald, observed of the "small, enthusiastic group of young women, spellbound by Ms. Berry's descriptions of growing up and her writing process."

Nantucket Book Festival: PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools
Nantucket High School Audience

This is the PEN/Faulkner model: books are given to the students, a curriculum guide is distributed to the teachers, the books are discussed and studied, and the program culminates with the author visit to the classroom. In this smaller setting, an intimacy is established and children feel free to ask questions and to understand, from the actual author standing in front of them, just what it is to have written this book. Hewing to that model, The Nantucket Book Festival distributed hundreds of books as a gift to our island students. As John Buckey, Principal of Nantucket High School commented, "I find it extremely gratifying to have the PEN/Faulkner program bring professional writers into our school. The opportunity it provides for our students to interact with the author in a small group environment is an invaluable experience that supports and encourages our students as both readers and writers. "

We're in our second year of bringing the PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools outreach to Nantucket, developed through the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, based in Washington, DC. Currently running programs in urban public high schools throughout Washington, DC and Baltimore, soon expanding into Philadelphia, Nantucket is its own "away off-shore" program.

Nantucket Book Festival: PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools
Julie Berry with Nantucket students

The Nantucket Book Festival is committed to broadening the world through words for our islands' children and our work continues with our second annual Nantucket Book Festival Young Writer Award. Circling the theme of containment, the question posed for our essay contest examines the imprint of growing up or living on Nantucket. How does living on an island, with its geographical boundaries, impact you? Constructed like the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, one winner and four finalists will be selected. Each winning student will be announced during Opening Night of Book Festival and be awarded their scholarship prize and will take the stage amongst some of our nation's leading writers. All essays submitted will also be published so that every student will have the opportunity to have found their voice on a more public stage. This contest is open to all Nantucket High School students. Submissions are accepted through Thursday, April 17 through the high school website.

The author visit, like the Young Writer Award, fosters our students' developing talents for writing, and more importantly, their confidence. "Develop an imagination," Julie Berry told our students. "Inside of you are ideas of value that you cannot imagine. You may have the idea for the poem, song, business, app, play, film, or story that the world is waiting for. "

Mary Haft is a writer and producer, founder of Haft Productions, specializing in documentaries for nonprofits. Co-Founder of the Nantucket Book Festival and Director of the Nantucket Book Foundation; member of the Board of Directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. She is the author of "Nantucket: Portrait of an American Town".

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Videos of the Week

Grace Potter on Nantucket
Grace Potter, interviewed and performing at The Chicken Box,
from Dionysus Productions

Grace Potter on Nantucket
A whimsical song of a Nantucket whaler from the wife's point of view. 
Found in the diary of Mrs. Eliza Brock, wife of Peter C. Brock,  
master of the Nantucket ship Lexington. Performed at Skipton Folk Club,  
Skipton, West Yorks, UK in March 2014. Published on Apr 17, 2014.

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The Brant Point Grill and Boarding House Open for the Season
  Thursday, April 17, 2014

Nantucket Semester Student Presentations
  Thursday, April 17, 6:00pm - 8:00pm: Nantucket Atheneum
  UMASS Boston Nantucket Field Station and the School for the Environment invite you to attend the student research presentations from the Nantucket Semester. Sponsored by reMain Nantucket. Email: sarah.oktay@umb.edu

Rio 2 (G)
  Thursday, April 17, 5:30pm: Dreamland Theater 
  It's a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids in RIO 2, after they're hurtled from that magical city to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all - his father-in-law.

Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, will.i.am, Jermaine Clement, Tracy Morgan Director: Carlos Saldanha

Noah (PG-13)
  Thursday, April 17, 7:00pm: Dreamland Theater 
  In a world ravaged by human sin, Noah is given a divine mission: to build an Ark to save creation from the coming flood.

Cast: Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins Director: Darren Aronofsky

  For the latest complete list of open restaurants and take-out food, as compiled by David Sharpe at Nantucket Visitor Services, with hours, addresses, and phone numbers, click here. 
Divergent (PG-13)
  Thursday, April 17, 7:30pm: Dreamland Theater 
  This thrilling action-adventure film is set in a world where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues. Tris Prior is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy by a faction leader to destroy all Divergents, Tris must learn to trust in the mysterious Four and together they must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it's too late.

Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Zo◊ő Kravitz Director: Neil Burger

Movies at the Starlight
  Thu, Apr 17
  Captain America 2 @ 5 & 7:30

Earth Got the Blues
  Thursdays, 7:30pm - 10:00pm: Rose & Crown    
  Thursdays, 10:00pm - 1:00am: Rose & Crown  

Chuck Colley
  Thursday, April 17, 4:30pm - 7:00pm: Cisco Brewers

Stump Trivia with Lindsay Feller
  Thursdays, 8:00pm - 10:00pm: Sea Dog Brew Pub
  Free to play, win $150. Prizes raffled off to benefit Nantucket Food Pantry.

DJ Julie
  Thursday, April 17, 10:00pm: Muse

  Bold type indicates a current Mahon About Town advertiser. Additional details on these events and the full calendar of arts and social events from 2008 through 2014 are here.   

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2014 Contributors to Mahon About Town
Gene MahonEditor, Photographer, Writer
Jason GraziadeiSocial Media Manager
Allen ReinhardContributor
Candy BearmanWriter
Deborah Feingold"Behind the Photograph" Photographer and Writer
Jack FritschWriter
Jaime Michele ConnellyPhotographer
Josh GrayWriter: Music and Features
Holly FiniganWriter and Photographer
Kerry HallamWriter
Kenneth Turner Blackshaw    Writer: Birds Around Us
Kit NoblePhotographer
Kristen KelloggVideographer
Laurie RichardsPhotographer
Lisa FreyPhotographer
Marie-Claire RochatWriter: "Just Curious"
Mary HaftWriter
Michael MayWriter: "A House Genealogy"
Peter BraceWriter and Photographer: "Island Evolving"
Peter SuttersWriter
Rebecca ChapaWriter
Sara BoyceWriter
Terry PommettPhotographer and Writer
Vladimir KaganWriter

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